Arranging a Funeral in this Benefice 

A funeral is used to mark the end of a person's life here on earth. Family and friends come together to express grief, celelbrate and give thanks for a life lived and commend the person into God's keeping. These can be a small, quiet ceremony or a large occasion in a packed church

Ministers from all three of our Churches, as well as the Vicar, are available to take funerals in Church, at a crematorium or sometimes a mixture of both you simply have to ask your funeral director to contact us. For some families a funeral starting in Church is preferable to one wholly in a Crematorium as you are not constrained by time.

Provided the Churchyard is open for burials or interments of ashes everyone is entitled to either a burial service (funeral) or to have their ashes buried in their parish churchyard by their parish priest regardless of whether they attended church or not. Speak to the Vicar/Church Warden for more information, You can also find out more about funerals in the Church of England by following this link

Some people find planning the funeral with family and friends helps in their grieving. Often family members already know something of what their loved one wanted. You may even have planned the service together some time ago.

If you are uncertain the minister who will lead the service can help you choose suitable readings and music. If they did not know your loved one well, they will want to talk with you to build up a picture of the person's life, this may take only one meeting but sometimes it can be more. In this benefice there are no restrictions on the music or hymns you may choose and we hope to make your loved ones funeral service as personal as we can.

We acknowledge that some deaths will be especially traumatic, distressing or unexpected. The Church has special funeral services that can be used for children, or after sudden or violent deaths, including suicide. Talk with the minister conducting the funeral about what is possible.

In many cases, arranging a funeral keeps people so busy that they don't feel their loss fully until afterwards.

Grieving is natural and important, and it may take a long time. Many people find that others who have lost a loved one can offer valuable comfort and support, we have a monthly 'friendship club' that some have found useful for this purpose, again contact the Vicar for details.

Getting buried or having ashes intered in our benefice

All three Churches are set in beautiful Churchyards, unfortuantely all three are closed for burials. What this means is that you cannot be buried there unless:

Your loved one has reserved a space using what is known as a faculty or

Your loved one is being buried in an existing family plot and there is room in that plot or

In the case of St Margaret's Darenth your loved ones ashes are to be buried in the beautiful garden of remembrance or the ashes are being buried in an existing plot.

Our minsters are however more than happy to conduct funeral services in Church or at the crematorium where the person is to be buried or have their ashes buried elsewhere.

Whilst the Churchyard at St John's Sutton-at -Hone is closed, it is set in the middle of a burial ground owned and maintained by Sutton-at-hone and Hawley Parish Council. Our ministers are happy to conduct services in Church or at the Crematorium that end here but you will need to contact the Parish Clerk to arrange the burial. 

Similarly St Mary's Horton Kirby is opposite a burial ground owned by Horton Kirby and South Darenth Parish council. Once again our ministers are happy to conduct services here but you need to arrange a burial plot with the Parish Clerk first.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact the Vicar/Church Warden or ask your Funeral Director to get in touch with us on your behalf.

You should however note that the Vicar does not allow 'life celebrants' or ministers from other denominations or parishes to conduct services in our Churches however they may play a part in a service conducted by one of our ministers.